To make a long story short, I was on the verge of being lectured by the café manager about how I can't just go marching in there and taking photos of the food and the place. She was very, pardon the expression, bitchy about it. I explained that I'd be a paying customer just like everyone else, the only difference being I'd take photos of what I would order and of the place. But no, she was already talking in a very loud voice explaining that she might be fired if she allowed me to do that etc etc. She then told me she would have to ask the management's permission and that I should check with her again after at least a week. It wasn't the fact that she would not allow me to do my job, it was HOW she told me. I felt she was telling me off, her voice was so loud I felt she was shouting at me. How can such a short-fused and undiplomatic person become a restaurant manager? It's really too bad, I had good intentions when I pitched this place to our editor. I wanted to give them some exposure because I thought they had something unique to offer.
Fortunately, if push comes to shove I've prepared a back-up restaurant feature if the space really needs to be filled by tomorrow morning. At least at that restaurant, everyone was more than happy to let me take my photos and dine in peace.